Springfield, Mass. - May 8, 2010 - Joe Heney tallied five goals and tacked on an assist to power the Springfield College men's lacrosse team to its third-straight Pilgrim Lacrosse League title after it downed visiting Wheaton College, 12-7, on Saturday afternoon. With the win, Springfield clinches an automatic berth into the upcoming NCAA Championship and will find out its opponent on Sunday evening.
These two teams met for the third-straight year in the conference tournament championship as Springfield won its ninth Pilgrim League title. The Pride bested Wheaton by an identical 12-7 score in last year's championship.
Springfield now stands at 12-5 on the year and enters the NCAA Tournament as winners of 11 of its last 12 contests. The Lyons' regular season comes to a close with an 8-8 record.
Heney, who had combined for six points in his last four games, erupted for six points to lead all scorers as he matched his season-high of five goals. Jarrid Johnson continued his offensive burst out of the midfield as he tallied a hat trick in the win. Kyle Louer added a pair of goals, while Mike Delia totaled a goal and an assist. Pete Sessa scooped up a team-best five ground balls and tacked on three caused turnovers and an assist.
At the "X", Mark Eaton went 10-of-20, including seven wins in the first half. Marc Martinez played the first half in goal, totaling three saves and allowing a goal, while Matt Cipolla played the final 30 minutes, allowing six goals while posting nine saves.
For the visitors, Chris Landers registered a hat trick on just four shots, while Ben Cederberg was the only other member of the Lyons' offense to tally double-digit points after recording a goal and an assist. Jack Croasdale picked up a game-high six ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers, while Warren Garceau won 12-of-22 face-offs, including eight in the second half.
Schuyler Horn was tremendous once again for Wheaton between the pipes as he finished the game with 17 saves in the loss.
Springfield pumped in the first two goals of the game just 23 seconds apart as Joe Macchi and Louer tallied unassisted strikes in the first 1:11 of the game. Macchi scored 48 seconds into the contest after he dodged to the inside and ripped a shot just inside the near post. Louer then blasted a shot from 20 yards out at the 13:49 mark as the Pride came roaring out of the gates.
Landers scored Wheaton’s only goal of the first half as he beat his man to the inside along the crease and slipped a shot low into the back of the cage with 9:38 left in the first quarter.
The Pride netted three more goals in the first quarter, all of which were unassisted marks. Heney scored two goals at 7:48 and 2:26 before Johnson bounced off a Wheaton check and scorched a shot low from 10 yards out.
SC tallied the only three goals of the second quarter as it owned an 8-1 advantage after the first half. Heney started the scoring as he delivered a man-up goal off a great feed from Delia with 8:28 on the clock. After a clean face-off win by Eaton, Sessa connected with Heney for another goal nine seconds later as Springfield’s upped its lead to 7-1. Delia scored the final goal of the first half as he recorded a quick strike off an Austin Orsini feed from behind the cage with 1:57 left.
After Springfield was flagged for slashing as the first half expired, Wheaton made the Pride pay with a man-up strike 35 seconds into the second half. Garceau took a feed from Drew Schaffer and scored Wheaton's first goal in 25 minutes.
The teams traded three goals apiece over the remaining 11:31 of the quarter as the Pride owned an 11-5 lead after three quarters of play. Landers had a pair of strikes in the run for Wheaton, his second coming on a man-up strike with 15 seconds remaining in the third. Louer, Heney, and Johnson each scored for the Pride, with Johnson's goal highlighting the quarter. After a beautiful look by Heney. who threaded a pass through the visitors' defense, Johnson converted Springfield's final goal of the third with 3:23 left. Ben Cederberg added Wheaton's other goal in the stanza as he ripped a shot into the top shelf from the right side of the field.
The Lyons made things interesting in the fourth as they scored a pair of goals to get within four at 11-7. McNamara led off the fourth with a one-timer as he finished a Tim Horan feed that came from behind the cage at the 8:27 mark. Just 26 seconds later, Charlie Willauer spun off his defender and ripped a shot past Cipolla to force a Springfield timeout.
However, Johnson sealed the victory as he dodged to his left and netted an unassisted goal with 5:43 on the clock for what would be the final goal of the contest.
In the game, Springfield held a 58-29 advantage in shots and a slight 34-30 edge in ground balls. Wheaton committed 24 turnovers and was just 16-of-24 on clears. Springfield had 14 miscues and was 18-of-20 on clear attempts.